diy shed: rusty to rustic


rusty shed before

We had every intention of painting this eyesore at the side of our house. We even bought the paint. I shouldn’t be too disrespectful because this shed is extremely useful: it houses our lawnmower, garbage cans, snow blower, rakes, shovels, etc. It just looked a little creepy and disheveled. Or shall I say di-shed-veled? (Sorry.)

Then, one day last spring, we decided that a bit of rust can actually be charming. (I think this was a genuine opinion, and not just laziness, though one can never be sure…) I simultaneously noticed that we had a lot of sticks lying around and that I was married to a talented sculptor. I started picking up twigs and laying them out in an ad hoc design. Maybe these could make rusty more rustic

“Can you attach all these together with wire?” I asked Rob. Of course. In a snap. No problem. First, he attached them together with tape, to get a sense of how it would work. This will surely clarify the order of events:

shed gif

(And the follow-up question, more than a year later, “Can you make a fancy gif with these photos?” Yes, again. I do love this man.)

It was Rob’s brilliant idea to add a vine to the mix. He chose something called Akebia. Here’s how it looked after he first installed (planted) it:

shed with akebia vines

And here’s how it looks now, a year later. It has really grown and filled in, up both sides and across the top:

Akebia on shed

Though we love living in New York, it’s fun to pretend we live in California, at a vineyard, (minus all the work growing actual grapes and making wine – why make it when you can buy it?) But there’s something alluring about the style of that lifestyle and we imagine that if we had a vineyard in California we’d have a rustic shed covered in vines, like this.  So here’s the overall effect, as of now:


rustic shed, after

Voila! Sure, it’s still rusty, but at least it’s a little more rustic. We are glad we held off on the paint: accessorizing this shed took us a little bit of work, but not nearly as much as painting it would have.

Anybody need some year-old Rustoleum? Those receipts are long gone…

As I said last week, Happy Home Improvement (HIMP) Month! Have you hugged your house today?

Categories: Design, DIY, Garden

Tagged as: , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Well..a vine covered shed in Valley Cottage sounds just perfect. And, might I add looks fab!! O’ the priorities, O’ how they change:-)

    • Thanks! If 10 years ago, you’d told me that I’d be decorating a rusty ol’ shed and getting an inordinate amount of joy out of it…well, I probably would have believed you…

  2. Pile some dirt up on one side with some sod reaching over the roof, give it another year of vines growing, post a sign that says Underhill Street, and you can rent shed to family of Hobbits.

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